The Spaniard is currently recovering from a stress fracture of a rib he suffered in the Indian Wells semi-final against compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.

The 35-year-old has withdrawn from this month's Barcelona Open.
The 35-year-old has withdrawn from this month's Barcelona Open. (Reuters)

Rafa Nadal is still uncertain when he can return to competitive tennis after withdrawing from this month's ATP event in Barcelona as he recovers from a rib injury.

"He is still suffering from his ribs and as expected when his injury was announced, he needs four to six weeks. We are at three, so logically he will not be able to play again in Barcelona," a person close to Nadal told AFP News Agency on Tuesday.

"He does the gym, but nothing that hurts him and therefore obviously not with the racket."

READ MORE: Nadal beats Kyrgios to reach Indian Wells semi-finals

After Nadal went down to his first loss of the year to Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final, the 35-year-old Spaniard said he had suffered a stress fracture of a rib in the semi-final against 18-year-old compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.

He has already missed the Miami Masters on hard court and Monte Carlo, which opens the European clay court season.

The next Masters events are Madrid starting on May 1 and then Rome beginning on May 8. 

The French Open begins on May 22. Nadal has won the title at Roland Garros 13 times.

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal into Australian Open quarter finals for the 14th time

Source: Reuters